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Narrative: Oral Texts

Statewide Speech & Language Service


& Aboriginal Education Directorate

Outcomes

Learn about oral narratives & the


important role they play in language &
literacy development
Review narrative Macrostructure &
Microstructure
Develop a bank of strategies for
teaching oral narrative

What is Narrative?
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Essentially it is story-telling
The ability to organise events and
thoughts so we can talk about
events that have happened to us
in a way that makes sense to
others
It can be spoken (oral) or written
They can be listened to or read

What skills are involved in


narrative?
Attention: To attend and listen to the
story
| Memory: To remember and recall
what happened
| Organisation: To organise the
events into a structure that makes
sense
| Sequencing: To sequence the
events appropriately
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What skills are involved in


narrative?
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Comprehension: To understand what


happened, what was heard or read

Semantics: To understand and use


appropriate vocabulary, descriptive
language & schema knowledge

Story-Grammar: To understand and use


the knowledge that most stories follow a
particular pattern i.e. intro, problem, plan,
event sequence & resolution

What skills are involved in


narrative?
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Syntax: To produce & join grammatically


correct sentences

Social Knowledge: To be aware of


listener needs, the purpose of listening or
telling, and be aware of the style of
language required - formal or informal

Meta-linguistic: To be aware of and be


able to talk about stories

Narrative as a Social Skill


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Everyday we listen to and provide personal


recounts or narratives
Responding to social questions
Most of conversation is taken up by people
taking turns.
Children engage in fantasy play, often make
up and act out stories

Narrative difficulties
include:
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Illogical sequences
Inappropriate detail
Insufficient information
Cause and effect relationships
Predictions
Feelings of frustration
DIFFICULTY
= ACQUIRING
LITERACY

Story structure
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If a person has not had access to story structure with cause and effect,
consequence, and sequence, and lives in an environment where routine
and structure are not available, he or she cannot plan. This can have a
serious impact on their ability to learn.

If they cannot identify


consequences they cannot control
impulsivity.

If they cannot identify


cause and effect, they cannot
identify
consequences.

Individuals who cannot plan,


cannot predict.

If they cannot predict, they


cannot identify cause and effect.

Payne, 2003

Why is narrative important?


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Being able to produce different types of narrative


is an important step on a students pathway to
literacy
It is a key milestone on the oral to literate
continuum
Involves an understanding of formal and literate
style language
Provides a means to develop other aspects of
language i.e. grammar, vocabulary and figurative
language

Narrative as a bridge to literacy

Oral style

Here & NowTalking about


events as they
happen. E.g. Zoo
(contextualised).

Oral Text

Retelling stories,
recounting an
experience, telling
someone how to
make a sandwich.

Literate style

Writing stories,
reports, debating etc.
(decontextualised)

Where the genres sit on the


continuum
Oral Texts
procedure/
explanation

Literate
story
generation
exposition

personal
recount

story
retell

report

Cultural Considerations

Narrative forms differ according to cultural and language


backgrounds.

For English as a second language (ESL) and English as


a second dialect (ESD) students, we need to ensure that
the form and purpose of Standard Australian English
(SAE) narratives are explicitly taught IN ADDITION to the
form used in the students home language.

How can we effectively teach


Narrative?
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Provide hands on experiences for the students to


recount
Sequencing
Story Maps
Character analysis
Socio-dramatic Play Areas
Role Play / Joint Action Routines
Drama activities
Stepping it out with program
Scaffolds
Puppet theatre

Scaffolds
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Steps
Planners
Book
Flip book
News telling chart
Description chart
Cue cards
Story Cubes

Reduce
Internalise
Generalise

The Progression of a Narrative


Session
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Shared experience
Discussion/questions
Joint construction
Teacher modelling
Focus on goals
Students have a turn
Praise and give feedback
Student moves their token
along goal chart

Narrative steps example

Teaching genres within a


theme
Theme

Reptiles

Week
1

Recount: Visiting Broome


Crocodile Park

Week
2

Retell: Loongie the Greedy


Crocodile

Week
3

Procedural Recount: Cooking


Crunchy Crocodiles

Why Assess Oral Narrative?


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Narrative ability is one of the best predictors


of school success for children with a
learning disability (LD)
School aged children with LD have difficulty
with several elements of spontaneous story
generation including
z
z

Macrostructure: story grammar development


Microstructure: use of cohesive ties,
grammatical sentence structure, use of past
tense, vocabulary, frequency & length of
sentences

STRUCTURE
SETTING
BEGINNING,
MIDDLE, END

SYNTAX/
GRAMMAR

SEMANTICS

CONNECTORS

VOCABULARY &
DESCRIPTION
WORDS

TENSE

INFORMATION
SEQUENCING

PRONOUNS
SENTENCE
STRUCTURE

CONTENT

ADVERBIALS of
PLACE

Professional Reading
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Cortazzi, M., & Jin, L. (2007). Narrative learning, EAL


and metacognitive development. Early Child
Development and Care. 177 (6-7), 645-660.

Consider the principles of EAL language development.


What are the social aspects of narrative and narrative
learning?
How is narrative connected to other language areas e.g.
semantics, comprehension?

References
Celinska, D.K. (2004) Personal narratives of students with
and without learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities
Research & Practice, 19(2), 83-98.
Cortazzi, M., & Jin, L. (2007). Narrative learning, EAL and
metacognitive development. Early Child Development
and Care. 177 (6-7), 645-660.
Dymock, S. (2007). Comprehension Strategy Instruction:
Teaching Narrative Text Structure Awareness.
International Reading Association, 61(2), 161-167.
Payne. R (2003). Understanding and Working With Students
and Adults from Poverty. Poverty Series. Part 1.

Accessing Support
Statewide Speech and Language Service
CAGE (Canning, Albany, Goldfields & Esperance)
Consultant Principal: (08) 9311 0593
Northern Alliance (West Coast, Midwest & Pilbara)
Consultant Principal: (08)9343 0155
Fremantle-Peel, Narrogin, Bunbury & Warren Blackwood
Consultant Principal: (08) 9336 8920
Swan (Swan, Midlands & Kimberley)
Consultant Principal: (08) 9275 5511